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How to establish New Years goals and actually maintain them. 3 simple tips from a therapist. 

How to establish New Years goals and actually maintain them. 3 simple tips from a therapist. 

New years, one of my favorite holidays. There’s something so magical to me when the whole world is celebrating change, growth, and transformation, all at once. 

If you’re a spiritual person or the “woo-woo” hippie type, you might want to lean into that energy and connection of Universal change that’s happening right now in our reality. It’s a perfect time to harness that manifestation magic! 

Now, if you’re not so spiritual and you’re more of a results and statistics kind of person, I’ve got you covered today with my 3 simple tricks to making change and making it last. 

Get Clear on What You Want. 

In my world, Clarity is King. Clarity allows us to really understand and visualize our future and what needs to get done, what needs to be removed, and what needs to be processed and healed in order to create change. 

An exercise I offer my clients is this, my signature approach to clarity: Contrast to Clarity Worksheet (can download the PDF here). If you don’t want to download, no sweat! Grab any piece of paper and make two columns. On the left, write down everything you don’t like about your life and want to change. On the right side of the page find the contrast to those feelings and experiences that you’re having. 


A.) I hate how I feel about myself. I hate feeling overweight, fat, unhealthy and not feeling like my sexy self. 

Contrast to find the clarity of what we do want: 

B.) I want to feel happy and healthy in my body. I want to feel lighter, stronger, skinnier, and sexier.  I want to like what I look like and enjoy feeling good about myself. 

Here, we have the clarity given to us by our negative self-talk. 

Now that we’ve found clarity, let’s start identifying HOW we can achieve these goals. 

Remaining with our example, we’ve establish the feelings and results we went to have at the end of this goal. But what does in that in between creating the goal and accomplishing it actually look like to make it a reality? 

Well, we know 7,500 steps a day helps keep a healthy weight, healthy heart, healthy nervous system, healthy joints, and healthy cardiovascular system. So, can we create SMART (small, measurable, attainable, realistic, time sensitive) goals? 

Remember, small steps create HUGE results. So if we’re not walking at all, can we add two days where we do walk? And then overtime, can we add to that when those two days become routine? Keep taking small steps in the right direction and you will eventually reach your destination with gladness. 

Another goal within this goal was to feel sexier. Well, we know by the science of perception that “beauty is determined by the eyes AND MIND of the beholder.” If you’re having negative self talk, let’s address it. Start speaking words of affirmation in a positive context to yourself. If that’s a struggle and you’re really in the thick of negative self-talk, remember the A and R of SMART, attainable and realistic. If you can’t believe in the positive affirmation just yet, that’s okay, switch to a neutral thought. A neutral thought looks like this: “Even though, (insert negative thought about yourself), I am choosing to see things differently to open up to believing in myself.” This opens your mind (and changes your brain chemistry) to start being open to the possibilities of new positive opportunities and thoughts. 

So when creating goals, make sure they are SMART! 

Third. Play The long Game. Change is science based. We are run by the hardwire of our brains and anatomy. If we have been living a certain way for years, change can’t happen overnight; it takes time. So give yourself time to become the new version of yourself. 

Vishen Lakinani, founder of MindValley and author of the neurobiological self-help book, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, {JUSTIN, it would be cool if mindful transformations had an affiliated account on Amazon so we could profit off of the books and products we recommend} talks about how the brain OVER estimates what it can accomplish in one year and UNDER estimates what it can do in three years. That’s so important to remember. In the day of instant gratification it can be so overwhelming to want the changes ASAP, but again, life typically doesn’t work that way. But don’t let that stop you! Taking 16 months to accomplish the goal is better than never starting. Think to yourself, next year is coming whether or not I start my new journey, wouldn’t I rather that year come with this goal accomplished? 

And last but not least with a bonus Cultivate the emotional and mental fortitude of resiliency and plan for adversity. The Gottman Institute, who are the leaders in psychological neuroscience, stresses the importance of being aware that you will have hard moments on your journey, it’s a part of life and needs to be expected and planned for. Developing resiliency, the ability to move forward after hard feats, will help you see yourself healed on the other side of whatever you’re going through and will allow you to accomplishing your goal. 

Thanks so much for reading and let us know how these tips worked for you! You can connect with us on our social media pages, @mindfultransformationllc and @spiritualtherapistsofig 

Godspeed and good luck! We believe in you! 

Brittney LaBonte is a couples counselor and holistic therapist and a member of Mindful Transformation LLC of Connecticut. Check out our team of therapist to see who can fit your needs to help you create these lasting changes for this coming new year. 

Happy New Year!

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